Thomas Leonard, now deceased, is considered the 'father of coaching'. He advocated the Coach 100 approach to attracting coaching clients. Here's what he said:
'If I were a new coach just starting out and I was feeling like I needed credentials to feel good about marketing my coaching services, here's what I would do...
I would go out of my way to find and coach 100 individuals over the next two years. That's IT. That's all I would do. They could pay me or not. Some clients would last a single session, others the full 2 years. But I would know that if I coached 100 people that the following would likely happen:
--I would earn enough to get by, especially if I kept my day job and coached at night and on weekends.
--I would learn SO much from these 100 people that I would develop confidence in my abilities.
--I would start getting referrals within a month and this number of referrals would grow as I got better at what I did.
--I would turn my 100 free/fee clients into my mentors and make sure they taught me how to coach them.
--I would have testimonials and outcomes from clients that I would point to proudly if/when future clients wanted credentials/references.
--I wouldn't be afraid to coach folks, because I'd be willing to coach them for free.
--I wouldn't be afraid to ask a lot of my free clients because if they didn't like it, they'd leave.'
--Thomas J. Leonard 2001
Thomas often spoke of this as the 'capillary approach' - a networking tactic where you simply start coaching as many people as possible. These clients will introduce you to more clients, they'll introduce you to more, and so on. Pretty soon your business is full.
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